this morning, a friend sent me a photo of himself inside Hangar One (one of the largest freestanding structures on Earth) and i immediately was jealous — and wondered how in the world he got in there. after a bit of digging, it turned out the facility Hangar One is located at, the Ames Research Center, is 75 years old this year and was holding an open house! as it turns out, another friend (thank you @wintersweet!) had tickets she wasn’t going to use and off i went!
while perhaps not as famous as the Jet Propulsion Laboratory*, Ames has a storied past (and continues to be NASA’s research center in Silicon Valley), so when you have a geek event in the heart of geek country, it’s bound to be busy. think Disneyland-level crowding (and about the same demographics, kids and all). man, it was a zoo and logistics (transportation, wayfinding, food) were…troublesome…(though they had plenty of portapotties!) but still, a great experience. AND i got to go inside Hangar One myself!
— Jonathan Khoo (@jonk) October 18, 2014
* i was fortunate that my high school was literally down the street from JPL and was able to go to lectures and presentations there on a regular basis (they had a special biweekly evening event for high schoolers) — this reminded me a lot of that!
as always, more pictures on flickr, but the highlights were Hangar One, the ginormous wind tunnels (huge buildings and pipes and ducts) and the poor rover that got stuck on a hill heh.